On Food: Delicacies For The Strong Stomach

“Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” Marcus Tullius Cicero On Food: Delicacies For The Strong Stomach... How about snake for lunch? I’m a huge fan of the Travel Channel and the escapades of Andrew Zimmern, Anthony Bourdain and a host of other talented, adventurous gourmands on the show. So the WP prompt on food brought back memories of oddities I’ve tried in my lifetime…  It’s funny that I am now vegetarian but back in the day, ...

Flowers in the News: Water Hyacinth Plants take over Africa’s Largest Lake

Water hyacinth have attractive flowers, but the invasive and dense foliage have taken over Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, harming the fish that call the body of water home. Water hyacinths are one of the fastest growing water plants in the world and they have become an epidemic! In fact, if you visit Lake Victoria now, there is no water in sight! Instead, the lake has become a sea of green from shore to shore. It looks like a field ...

18 Uses for Lavender

If you plan on growing only one thing this year, make it lavender! Lavender is one of the easiest and most versatile herbs to grow. Not only is lavender edible,  it has a wonderful intoxicating scent! Simply sow the seeds into some well-drained, sandy soil in a sunny spot and watch them grow! In no time, you will be rewarded with an abundance of lavender that you may not know what to do with! But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of ...

Hope: Braving the Storms of Life…

Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow. Susanna Moodie Hope: Brave Earth - A view from outer space via Wikipedia Everywhere we look there are storms brewing and spreading; in nature and man-made. Winter snowstorms here at home; families cooped up, in cabin fever mode. Explosive events in Egypt; protesters clashing, people hurt, and families worried. Flooding ...

18 Uses for Safflower

Don’t let its weed-like appearance fool you! The humble safflower may not be as pretty or fragrant as the rose,  but it is one of the oldest, most versatile crops in history! Safflower is a dandelion-like flower that is commercially grown for many different uses. India, the United States and Mexico are the top commercial producers of safflower. Here are some of the many ways safflower can be used: Safflower oil, made by pressing the seeds, is a popular, flavourless vegetable oil ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth…

“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” Henry Miller Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Tentacles of a budding Japanese Peony Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony budding. Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony growing. Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony fully formed buds Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth… Japanese Peony flower Growth of Man — like Growth of Nature — by Emily Dickinson Growth of Man — like Growth of Nature – Gravitates within – Atmosphere, and Sun endorse it – Bit it stir — alone – Everywhere we look, every ...

Weird & Unusual: Bladderwort Plants (Utricularia)

Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) bladder traps (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Flowering Utricularia macrorhiza (Bladderwort) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If you are a regular reader of this flower blog, you will know that the world is full of weird and unusual flowers and plants, such as: ghost orchids, plants that can dance, plants that can numb toothaches, plants that look like “Hooker’s Lips, and so much more! Fun Flower Facts is definitely a blog you should follow or read on a regular basis if you enjoy learning ...

Nelson Mandela: Madiba R.I.P.

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela: Madiba Dead at 95, RIP  1918-2013. Photo via g987fm.com Utata Madiba, Ndilusizi… Hamba kakuhle! Enkosi kakhulu! (Father Madiba, I’m sad… Go well. Thank you very much!) Nelson Mandela’s retirement charity launch Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba, Khulu, Dalibhunga, 95, passed away today. ...

BOOK REVIEW: Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey

"Science yields facts but not 'value judgments;' religion expresses values but cannot 'speak facts.'" - Albert Einstein Most modern people would agree with the aforementioned quote by Albert Einstein because it singularly embodies the general filter through which we’ve come to view our lives and the concept of truth. However, in Saving Leonardo, best-selling author and scholar Nancy Pearcey questions the validity of that filter because it incorrectly splits our everyday reality into two separate parts – facts and values. Using a building ...

10 More Troubling Texting Phrases Parents Must Know…

This week our 10 year old daughter began mandatory sex education classes. I wrote about how my wife and I prepared her for that information in a post titled A Father’s Worst Fear – Part II. The reality of the information and what she didn’t know forced our hand as parents. That got me thinking about the information that we as parents don’t know. One of the biggest gaps in my knowledge as a parent are texting phrases and instant messaging (IM) shortcuts ...

New Law Will Break the Internet if Passed

Image courtesy of Fer Gregory via Compfight I like the Internet. It allows me a growing forum to express my thoughts and opinion as well as discover those of others. It also allows me to stay in touch with old friends and meet new ones. However, there is a troubling piece of legislation that’s being considered for quick passage in Congress that will change the way the Internet works and how we engage with it. Check out this brief video that explains the ...

The $5.37 “Caption This” Contest: Vol. 4

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the princely, yet random, $5.37 cash prize for the weekly “Caption This” Contest! After much consideration and engagement with Hollywood image consultant Rachel Zoe (she is just fabulous)  a winner has been selected for last week’s “Caption This” Contest. That winner is Lisa Stivers see her caption below. “Don’t worry Honey I got this….I saw it on Pinterest.” Congratulations to the victor – who can message me at Facebook or on Twitter with an appropriate email address to ...

Sticky Intimacy

The morning yawns awake its amber brilliance revives me. String me up with the sun I want to peek at the world through the oaks. I’m weary of this limited view ground zero with the lilacs. The sky is audience to the dark bumblebee’s dance navigating virgin blossoms yet missing out on the bruising intimacy of bee’s sticky feet and the swooning perfume of pollination. From afar it only seems romantic.

When Trust Dies, Who’s to Blame?

I subscribe to a niche news feed service that sends me press releases and updates regarding religion and faith-based issues. Earlier this week, I saw a press release regarding pastors, priests and rabbis who have abandoned their faith for an atheistic lifestyle. I’m not surprised when religious leaders experience doubt and question lifelong traditions they’ve followed. Faithful followers from Moses through Mother Teresa have expressed doubts regarding their beliefs and have written extensively about what they call “the dark night of the soul.” In fact, ...

A Long Way from Manuscript

Members of TEAM TSA (this group at Disney in 2012) participate in athletic events to support the mission of the Tourette Syndrome Association to discover a cause and find a cure for tourette syndrome. This past Tuesday marked the start of Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month (May 15 – June 15). I know this because I stay in touch with Brad Cohen, whose book (co-authored with Lisa Wysocky) Front of the Class was one of my former company VanderWyk & Burnham’s success ...

Cupcake Currency???

Cupcake ATM - image courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes It’s no secret that the U.S. economy continues to struggle. The country continues to nickel-and-dime its way out of the monetary morass of the past few years, and gold is a favored investment option given the uncertainties surrounding currencies such as the euro, drachma and dollar. However, a recent story I read struck me as a savory solution of sorts. It seems a high-end bakery called Sprinkles Cupcakes in Los Angeles has invented a cupcake (automated ...

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Great Giveaway: An Epiphanie Bag

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Great Giveaway: An Epiphanie Bag.. Tired of bulky camera bags or ugly Laptop bags? Epiphanie has a bag for you. Win an Epiphanie bag of your choice; choose either a camera or laptop bag and carry your gadgets in style. Organized by Giveaway Booster.. Have you often wondered about finding a less bulky way to carry your fancy camera? Do you want be comfortably camera ready on your …

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Fabulous Finds: Stocking Stuffers

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Santa Claus is coming to town! Are you ready? Even if all the presents are wrapped and under the tree, chances are you’re still missing a few stocking stuffers. But there’s no reason to pout or cry, because we’ve got you covered! Here are some fabulous finds to help with your holiday shopping and put the …

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After Holiday Sales

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After all the countdowns, markdowns, and breakdowns, Christmas is behind us for a year. You would think that shopping would be the last thing anyone would want to do. WRONG! According to the people that track this sort of statistic tell us that the day after Christmas nearly rivals Black Friday. So why doesn’t this …

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Holiday Gift Guide: Fun and Unique Vases

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Christmas is less than 3 weeks away! But there is no need to panic. There is still plenty of time to do your holiday shopping. And to help you, here are some fun and unique vases for the flower lover/gardener in your life. Hanging Light Bulb Vases Made from recycled light bulbs, these vases would look charming …

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Christmas Shopping

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I have started my Christmas shopping, but that’s not the type of shopping I’m talking about. Deb stopped over last night. She not only wanted to visit, but to peruse my knitted wares for Christmas shopping. How sweet of her is that?! We went through my FO’s and she selected some items for her family, and …

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Avoiding Cyber-Monday Scams

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I don’t know about you, but I’m an unrepentant self-admitted Cyber-Monday shopper. I simply prefer the convenience of shopping online for the holidays compared to the crowds and hassles associated with Black Friday which I try to avoid like the Black Plague. However, online shopping does have its own pitfalls – identity theft, computer hacking and compromised …

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A Visit to São Teotónio Market

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I enjoy going to the country markets and one of my favourites is the market at São Teotónio near Odemeira, in the Alentajo. I refer to the term “country” because I’m not so keen on the markets held in the tourist towns of the Algarve. These are usually full of the rip-off-tat such as fake …

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